The Danish government has announced the release of two Danes and four Filipinos who were held hostage in Somalia for more than two years after their ship was attacked by pirates.

Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal says the six men were safe on board a Danish navy ship off Somalia, but did not give further details. He said Denmark had not paid a ransom for the hostages.

Defense Minister Nick Haekkerup said Tuesday that Danish commandoes were sent to Somalia to pick up the hostages, but also declined to elaborate.

The six crew members were on the Danish cargo ship M/V Leopard when it was attacked by pirates on Jan. 12, 2011, off Somalia.

The men were believed to have been held captive on the mainland.